There are numerous challenges in helping people better plan for retirement. In fact, more than half of adults in the United States 30 and over do not have any real savings or investments for retirement. The majority of people in this country live essentially paycheck to paycheck, living for the moment and not thinking much about what they’ll do when retirement comes. Even those who do invest in 401(k)s are not immune to financial challenges once they retire. On top of all that, even many of the people saving properly for retirement don’t ever calculate into their costs of living the prospect of home care.
Home care may not be necessary for everyone, of course, but more and more people are turning to these support services for both short and long-term needs, and few of them ever imagined they could need that level of care and support in their home. It’s another outreach that home care agencies might consider to make people more aware of how this cost could impact their lives as they age.
The New Haven Register, in its article Connecticut Money: Be prepared for health issues after you retire, written by Eric Tashlein, noted:
“Purchase long-term care insurance. Nursing home stays are expensive, and not always for the elderly. Often people in their 50s or 60s need long-term care (help with daily tasks such as dressing and eating), either temporarily or permanently, and of course you may need it after you retire, as well. Long-term care insurance helps pay those types of costs. This type of insurance is complex, and you must qualify on a health basis, but it can be well worth it if you can afford the annual premiums.
Understand Medicare. Too many people believe Medicare will pay their medical expenses once they reach age 65. Medicare only pays some of your expenses, and you will be on the hook for the rest. Most people purchase supplementary insurance to cover the difference, and you need to account for this cost in your retirement plan.”
If people are not familiar with home care, and don’t know anyone who ever utilized these services, then they are far less likely to bother saving for it. Home care agencies are in the best position to educate the men and women in their communities on the benefits of these services, the cost, and how to plan better for the prospect they may need them in the future. While home care agencies won’t benefit from long-term care insurance policies or money set aside in a specialized savings account, by being supportive long before help is needed, their communities will likely view them in a more positive light and that offers great word-of-mouth marketing benefits.